Monday, February 22, 2010

American Dreaming: Community Housing Resource Center

In our first class, we're fortunate to have Teri Duffy, Executive Director of Community Housing Resource Center join us. She'll share her experiences regarding a critical element of the American Dream concept: home ownership.

You can learn more about her work here.

American Dreaming: History of Affordable Housing

Bernard Hoffmann, for Life Magazine, Bernard Levey Family

For many, the American Dream includes a house with a picket fence.

There's a great look at the history of postwar housing with a special focus on Levittown, an "ideal American suburb" at The Affordable Housing Institute site.

They provide a link to the National Building Museum. Let's take a virtual field trip to the exhibition:

Affordable Housing: Designing an American Asset

American Dreaming: Vanity Fair Reading Assignment

There are seven days between our class periods.

I know, I am sad too. I will miss you all.

But we can keep busy by reading a marvelous Vanity Fair article about the American Dream by editor David Kamp. Oh, joy!

Seriously, this is a great piece. It's what inspired me to develop this course. So please click on this link for

Rethinking the American Dream

and read it over. Discuss it with family and friends. Jot down a few notes about things you'd like to talk about next class period.

There will be a quiz.

Did that get your attention?

Chocolate for all those who pass.

Did that get your attention?

I thought so.

American Dreaming: Origin of the Term "American Dream"

When do you think the term "American Dream" was coined? You might be surprised at the answer.

The Library of Congress has this to say:

The term was first used by James Truslow Adams in his book The Epic of America which was written in 1931. He states: "The American Dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."

Do you know who this guy is?

Would it help if I showed you this?

Go here for an interesting story about him. Then come back and comment!

What Happened to the American Dream? on 20/20

What Happened to the American Dream? was the title of a segment of Episode 6 on 20/20.

It discusses how families are scaling back from excessive lifestyles.

Watch the clip here.

Do you know of people with similar stories?